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Katy Area Retired Educators Award Katy ISD Seniors with Scholarships

Katy Magazine News

April 13, 2019

By Jennifer Miko

This week, the Katy Area Retired Educators (KARE) awarded eight Katy ISD high school seniors with $1200 scholarships, each, to help them pursue their degree in Education.

KARE scholarship recipients (left to right) Avery Lucas, Conley Grimet, Joan Basaldua, Kourtney Waggoner (Keynote speaker and KARE’s first scholarship recipient), Leilani Cantu, Holly Dasher, Vanessa Moreno and Sierra Richardson.

On April 10, the Katy Area Retired Teachers (KARE) handed out almost ten-thousand dollars in scholarships. Due to community support during their restaurant spirit nights, the group was able to double the number of recipients from last year. The recipients included eight Katy ISD high school seniors: Joan Basaldua (Katy, and Namesake Scholarship Recipient), Leilani Cantu (Mayde Creek), Holly Dasher (Cinco Ranch), Maria Gonzalo Gil (Taylor), Conley Grimet (Katy), Avery Lucas (Cinco Ranch), Vanessa Moreno (Mayde Creek) and Sierra Richardson (Katy).

Applicants were required to meet specific criteria to be considered for a scholarship. They needed to present clearly defined career goals for teaching grades K-12, indicating what grade level and subject. Candidates were also required to prove financial need and have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Investing in Future Katy ISD Teachers

“All of our recipients are entering college in the fall as an Education major and planning to become a public school teacher in Texas,” said Brenda Shaver, KARE Publicity. “Many of them have high hopes of returning to Katy ISD to teach.”

Conley Grimet, one of three Katy High School seniors to receive a scholarship, plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University this fall. She was influenced by her music teacher from WoodCreek Junior High to become an educator.

"Anne Guess is one of the biggest reasons I will be pursuing a career in music education. I hope to be a teacher like her and inspire my students through music," Grimet said. "After graduation (from college) I would love to come back to Katy ISD and find a job working as a music teacher at an elementary school."

Dedicated to Public Education

Established in 2000, KARE currently has about 275 members.

“I am so happy to be a part of such a dynamic, energized group of retired educators!” said Lisa Simmons, KARE member and former principal of Rylander Elementary. “I am awestruck by the amount of experience, knowledge and expertise surrounding me.”

Last year, KARE members volunteered almost 40,000 hours in programs such as KEYS Mentors, Promise to Read, substituting, Angler Education and the Katy ISD Education Foundation.

“These men and women have dedicated their lives to helping students,” Simmons said. “They continue to volunteer in support of their community and allow their collective voices to be heard in shaping state policies that support students, parents and public education.”

Supporting Katy ISD Libraries

Last month, KARE completed their annual book drive. They collected 1811 books and donated them to the elementary school libraries at Golbow, West Memorial, Cimarron and Franz.

“This year four schools were chosen for a variety of reasons, such as building classroom libraries, special programs, and summer reading programs,” said Cindy Katz, Co-chairperson, KARE Book Project.

Dr. Ann Lalime (Golbow Principal) Melinda Webb (Golbow Librarian) with Mark Shaver (author of "Dakota's Daring Adventures") and KARE members Cindy Katz and Karen Attaway.

At each KARE meeting, members support the program by donating books or through monetary contributions which are used to purchase books. Katz said the book drive officially runs from September to January, but they’ve already begun collecting for next year’s book drive.

"Even after retirement, these educators are still making a positive impact on their community and leaving a lasting legacy," Grimet said.

To become a member of KARE, attend a meeting, or donate a book, visit their website at

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